Blur — Mountain of my youth

Seven Star Mountain, Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan, 1955

Seven Star Mountain, Yangmingshan National Park, Taiwan, 1955

Taking leave from my ship in Keelung Harbor, I rode the bus to Taipei, and spent the day in a verdant park:

I was a boy,
I thought I’d always be a boy, pell—mell,
mean, and gaily murderous one moment
as I decapitated daisies with a stick,
then overcome with summer’s opium,
numb—slumberous. I thought I’d always be a boy,
each day its own millennium, each
one thousand years of daylight ending in
the night watch, summer’s pervigilium,
which I could never keep because by sunset
I was an old man.
— From Blur by Andrew Hudgins

Union Park, San Francisco, 1953

Union Square, San Francisco, 1954

Winged Victory points to the sky above Union Square in San Francisco. The old-fashioned clothing is what men wore in the ‘50s. I was an 18-year-old sailor studying electronics on Treasure Island and took the train into the city to take this photo. When I graduated from training, I was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. A few weeks later I was in Taiwan.

Sailor relaxing with mermaid, Treasure Is. 1953

Sailor relaxing with mermaid, Treasure Is. 1954

These un-retouched photos were scanned from Kodak Ektachrome slides shot by me with an Argus C3 camera in 1954-5 while serving in the USN. Clearly, I was just learning how to use the camera to take sharp photos.

Carto

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur.

The complete poem Blur can be read at Poets.org

Andrew Hudgins’ latest book of poetry, Ecstatic in the Poison, was published by Overlook Press.

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